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Had Mental Health Exam Today - Need to Vent!!

Discussion in 'Social Security / Disability Benefits' started by suebehar, Feb 14, 2008.

  1. suebehar

    suebehar Registered

    I went to my Social Security requested Mental Health exam today and I'm so down! It was such a waste of time. I was very stressed about it, and I reviewed the forum, which really helped. They told me to bring all my medications and then they never looked at them. I had to complete pages of paperwork that I had already completed for Social Security. Thank goodness I brought my arm brace.

    Then they asked me questions such as who is the President. What is the difference between a dog and a cat???

    I tried to explain that my issues are Lupus pain and fatigue, RA, and Sjogrens. My anxiety and mental issues are related to Lupus fog. I spent about 15 minutes with the psychologist and it was over. She said her results would go to Social Security for a determination. I don't know how they could determine anything from the interview I had. I came home in such pain and frustration.

    Don't they know that the process can make you crazy!

    There is nothing that I wouldn't give to have my life back. I loved my job and did it well. My employer tried to make every accommodation, but I couldn't hang in. I worked straight for over 25 years and was never on unemployment. And now this process. I know Social Security needs to protect the process from phony claims, but the system needs an overhaul, maybe a commission comprised of people with disabilities of varying kinds.

    Sorry for the rant...

  2. Jenkay

    Jenkay Jen

    Sorry to hear of your meeting with SSD. Your frustration is understandable. I'm in your same position so I feel for what you are going through.

    Just wanted to let you know I'm with you and hope it turns our well for you.

    Jen :)
  3. LolaLola

    LolaLola Registered

    It does sound as if their questions follow a format rather than fitting your needs. I hope the Claim goes well for you. I am in the Uk,but from what American girls say your process is unpleasant indeed.
    x Lola
  4. sam101360

    sam101360 Registered

    I had a totally different experience with my psych exam. I went, didn't have to fill out any forms, they had them all. I met with the Dr. She asked me the same questions, which of course I had no problems answering. The she asked me about quality of life, impact of my disease on my day to day life, impact on relationships. She then asked me, in my own words to tell her how I felt the disease impacted me as a person.

    At the end of the meeting, she uncovered the fact that she had Lupus SLE...I figured...YUK, no way am I gonna get this, she is here at work, and finished her education...she cannot sympathise with me at all.

    So I asked her how she managed...she said that she had just come back from a 6 months leave of absence, but that at the moment she was medically controlled...she told me she had this job so that she did not have regular patients so she could just take time off as she needed it.

    She then informed me that she felt I was fully entitled to SSDI and that is what her report would say, she told me not to give up and to keep appealing. She said she normally would not disclose her decision, but she did not want to add to my stress and anxiety.

    I was so floored...not that it mattered what she said, I was denied anyway...I am too young, had too good a job and am too smart to require disability...I can do something to make money....

    I am now waiting for my hearing date.

    All I can say it do not give up - get a good lawyer - and appeal, appeal and appeal! We deserve it as much as anyone else.

  5. dudley

    dudley Registered


    I am so sorry for your experience. Have you been seeing anyone in the mental health field?

    Best of luck

  6. tbunny1

    tbunny1 Registered

    My experience almost mirrored yours Susan - a bag of pills no one looked at, 35 or more minutes filling out paperwork, and then a very short interview.

    The gentleman ended the interview with "I don't understand, we appear to be having a perfectly lucid converstation here?", to which I retorted "I applied for disibility because of my physical limitations, not a mental one." and left the office gruffly. I then proceeded to beat myself up for responding poorly to an important interview in this process. I was pretty sure I had "blown it". :oops:

    He ended up writing a glowing reccomendation that I be given full disability status - which SSDI ignored, of course, but I found so interesting based on my interview with him. Just goes to show, you never know ...
  7. sunflowergirl2

    sunflowergirl2 Registered

    :( Sorry to hear that you're going thru such a tough time! My rheumy said they do that so that you give up. I was recently approved, after waiting for 5 mos, tons of paperwork, and seeing one of their docs. Even tho I have a diagnosis of depression, they didn't request a psych eval. (But I did have to fill out a 10 pg. questionnaire with those questions). Hang in there, don't give up! Cathy
  8. rojomi

    rojomi Guest


    Hi Susan,
    I went thru all that too when I was qualifying for SSD. It's such a charade really. I was in a fog when I did it & a friend helped by driving, but it's never easy. I was approved after the first go-round, but the doc's I saw were basically losers who asked about the president, today's date etc. It is extremely trying and the best thing is if you can share it w/ someone and have a good laugh about it. I totally agree about wishing I were back at work again-the pittance SSD pays is barely enough to feed the cat so I'd much rather be back in the grind. But it's not an option for me @ this time-too many health probs. Hope to get them straightened up, but the job market sucks now until after the election.
    So-hope you get approved & if not, there are loads of salivating lawyers around to help if you don't. SS has to pay their fee's when you win. I worked hard for 37 years to pay into the the system, as has my family for generations. So don't ever feel bad or guilty about what some cruel peeps say about 'living off the government'-like anyone could! Good luck and chin up. Rob:)
    btw-document & DATE ALL correspondence; mail, calls, names, dates, details etc.-sounds paranoid but they can pull all kinds of stuff like scheduling appointments & sending out notices which one receives AFTER the appointment date. Hard to make an appointment when you didn't even know you had one-huh? But they do it. Make it like work-folders etc. but DOCUMENT all contacts and get names or employee ID numbers. fwiw Best of Luck.
  9. Leora

    Leora Guest

    Hello Stephanie,

    I just came across your post and my blood is literally boiling at the moment... My stomach is in absolute KNOTS... I'm truly furious right now....

    >> had too good a job and am too smart to require disability...I can do something to make money....>>

    Too good a job.... "Too "smart to require" disability"?.... please, please don't get me started!

    I used to have a very DEAR friend who passed away from her illness... she was well known all over the place and to this day and age her own family still remain in close contact with the Kennedy's and the Clinton's. She had a very high six-figure paying job... she was BRILLIANT.... but very sadly her illness took control over her life... She was very well off financially but to be ill, you have to truly pay a LOT of money to keep you going... she filed for SSD and was approved after being denied a few times.
    While she was denied, she was doing things on the side to earn some extra income... this made her illness progress a bit faster because it caused stress which is not a friend of ours... we cannot afford stress in our lives at all. For some of us, stress is fatal and for many it isn't. But... too smart to require disability... if anyone ever mouthed or so much as uttered those words to my life-long friend let me tell you, they would be so very sorry they ever uttered such words.

    I guess those of us who have SSD must in fact be dumb. Whew.... this does have my blood boiling. :mad:

    Now I'm going to step off my soapbox and truly calm down.... I better stop while I'm ahead.... whew! :calm:
  10. sam101360

    sam101360 Registered


    I felt the same way, so did my laywer and Dr. So I shed the stress and appealed for a court hearing. Dr will come testify so I keep hopeful thoughts.

    Thanks for you outrage on my behalf.

  11. Jirel

    Jirel Registered

    "Too smart for disability" is quite possibly what I would hear as I was a computer programmer. Luckily work is trying to keep me employed and has already downchecked me into a less demanding job, so when I can't perform this job I can point out that I've already been down-brained. I hope.
  12. sam101360

    sam101360 Registered

    I was a computer project manager, I had 36 full timers and anywhere from 10 - 90 consultants epending on the places and the projects. I started as a computer programmer in 1979 and moved up the food chain over the course of years and companies.

    My cousin (by marriage) has lupus, she has a college degree (I do not) she got you are too young, and too well educated to collect disability, she kept fighting and is collecting.

    A message to us all...clerks are paid to deny, only a judge is able to override that decision....

  13. Karly1964

    Karly1964 Guest

    :mad: I heard just a few minutes ago that I was too smart to be on disability! I have been on SSD since 1993, for mental illnesses, now of course lupus has been thrown into the mix. The guy who said it actually said that since I was so smart and had a grasp of English that I could do some job. He said that I should be 100% disabled to get disability. Well, when I applied for it, actually a social worker did it for me, I was a patient in a mental hospital. My disability the psych. diagnoses are typically hard to treat. I guess he figured that if I could write and read I didn't need disability. I think most of his problem was that dispite his terrible physical injuries the social security said he could do something, I can imagine how frustrating that is but it doesn't lesson my issues. I hope everyone who is working on a disability case soon gets a positive result. Many good thoughts for all of you. Karly:flowery: :hug:
  14. dudley

    dudley Registered

    Hi just checking in on how things are going. I hope you have had great luck since I last answered your post. Did you ever start seeing a mental health care professional?

  15. classyglrl

    classyglrl Guest

    I had the same exact experience! How eery! But for me... instead of sending me to the same pyschiatrist 5 minutes away... they sent me to his office an hour away.. I get there.. and they were like "uh... he's not even here on said date." (AND i had the paper work and everything that scheduled my date for that time!)

    He asked me the same questions basically she asked you, and said the same thing... then I got denied.

    A few months later I ended up in the ICU for two whole weeks, and re applied, and magically, I didnt even need a lawyer. I started the paper work again with the social worker in the hospital as I was uninsured....then when I was released from the hospital, I had to go to my local SSI building... the second time, the lady was MUCH nicer...she just simply looked at me and said, "you have lupus huh?" I was like... how did you know?!

    She saw my malar rash right under what i thought was great camoflagued make up!

    It's been more than 2 years, and I'm still receiving SSI and medicaid and a new state HMO insurance that is free for me, and covers 100% of my medical bills and prescription...

    It took a HUGE relief off of me though.... so good luck!
  16. allnighter

    allnighter Guest

    Hello all!!

    I had to do the shrink exam, too, and was really nervous about it. But actually, it turned out to be an "okay" experience.

    I was there for about 30 minutes. No forms. Just verbal exchanges. Most questions a 3 year old could answer. But counting back from 100 by 7's was not easy....(93, 86, 78, no! 79) Who can do that?
    I did manage to get through it, but that was the major time eater of our "chat".

    I also flubbed up some of the sequence questions. He'd ask me to repeat a series of random numbers...and I did okay at first. But when it came to a series of 6 numbers (like 7,21,36,4,1,8) I had a bit of a problem. I requested a copy (we're entitled, by law) of his findings. Depression was mentioned along with cognitive problems. And a GAF rating...I had to look that one up on the web.
    (I still wonder: Can they REALLY evaluate anyone in 30 minutes?? )

    Anyway, it worked in my favor. I was approved shortly after that visit. But if I was denied, I'd be raising **** over it!

    Thing is, my fight is with my disability insurance company (CIGNA). Twice denied now, even though SS has approved me. I paid them for 20 years, and thought I could depend on them, but they have totally different criteria, or perhaps ignorance, about Lupus. So it's lawyer time.....

    Somehow, things always have a way of working out.
    Keep the faith & hang in there!

    Nitey nite -

  17. Maia

    Maia Registered

    That is totally backwards - shame on Cigna. The criteria for LTD are much more lenient than those for SS disability. I cannot believe they are still trying to not pay you after being approved by SS!

    I hope you can recoup your lawyer costs too so you aren't out any money.

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